Slavery routes – a short history of human trafficking (3/4) | DW Documentary

DW Documentary – Apr 4, 2020

In the 17th century, almost seven million slaves toiled in sugar production. The French, English, Dutch and Spanish empires all sought profits from “white gold.” Part 3 of this four-part series focuses on the brutality of the colonial powers. In the 17th century, the Atlantic became the battleground of a war for sugar. European kingdoms sought ever-greater riches. To satisfy their greed, they opened new slavery routes from Africa to the islands of the New World in the Caribbean. With the complicity of banks and insurance companies, they industrialized the slave trade, pushing the number of deportations to unprecedented levels. Almost seven million Africans were trapped in captivity, in an endless spiral of violence. Up until the abolition of slavery, humans were trafficked across immense territories. The slave trade drew its own frontiers and created its own laws in a world marked by violence and the thirst for power and profit. The history of slavery dates back to the earliest advanced, human civilizations. As early as the 7th century A.D, Africa became the epicenter of a human trafficking network that stretched across the globe. Nubian, Fulani, Mandinka, Songhai, Susu, Akan, Yoruba, Igbo, Kongo, Yao, Somali… more than twenty million Africans were deported, sold and enslaved. The scale of the trade was so immense that for a long time, it was impossible to untangle the mechanisms that drove this criminal system.

NOTA BENE:  For reasons that were never explained to the public this excellent 4 part series from DW, entitled: “Slavery routes – a short history of human trafficking,” has now been removed from public viewing on YouTube.  The 4 parts were located as of April 2020 at these YouTube addresses:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

As of August 2021, however, each of these addresses is marked with the message:


No explanation was offered for this change, and it is not clear whether this was a change in availability instituted by DW or by YouTube.  In any case, click here for related videos on similar topics from DW.

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